Supporting the Advancement of Girls Education in Southeast Asia

Monday, 01 July 2024 |

Supporting the Advancement of Girls Education in Southeast Asia

 

Emerging from the UK’s official Dialogue Partner status with ASEAN, the ASEAN-UK Supporting the Advancement of Girls’ Education (ASEAN-UK SAGE) programme is the first cooperation initiative of its kind, capturing the shared interest and commitment of the UK and ASEAN in enhancing education access for girls and marginalised groups in the region.

The ASEAN-UK SAGE programme provides evidence-based technical input that will enable the development of effective policies and programmes to improve foundational learning for all, and that tackle exclusion and constraints limiting the achievement of girls and marginalised groups. The programme is co-led by the SEAMEO Secretariat and the British Council, with EdTech Hub and ACER as delivery partners.

Description 1

Significant progress in education had been made in the Southeast Asian region, however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic that exacerbated existing challenges in education, many countries have experienced significant setbacks due to prolonged school closures and limited access to remote learning resources. This has resulted in a disproportionate educational disadvantage for girls and marginalised communities who face heightened barriers to continuing their education. The disproportionate impact on girls and marginalised groups within Southeast Asia underscores the urgent need for targeted interventions to bridge the educational gaps and ensure inclusive and equitable access to quality education.

 

Addressing Barriers to Education for Girls and OOSCY

Through the ASEAN-UK SAGE programme, collaborative efforts are underway to address barriers to access to education for girls and out-of- school children and youth (OOSCY) in Southeast Asia.

To understand more about the extent and demographics of OOSCY in the region – with a focus on gender – the SEAMEO Secretariat and EdTech Hub are conducting a rapid scoping study involving SEAMEO Centres. Focusing on the demographics and factors contributing to OOSCY in the region, the aim of this study is to identify strengths and gaps in existing policies, and propose recommendations for improvement across Southeast Asia.

On 28 May 2024, the SEAMEO Secretariat and the British Council engaged the leadership of Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport of Cambodia; the Ministry of Education and Sports of Lao PDR; and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport of Timor Leste, through an online Exploratory Session that highlighted the opportunity for collaboration for the advancement of girls education in each country. The goal of this Exploratory Session was to develop a shared understanding of the local contexts and specific needs of the countries in relation to the opportunity for collaboration with the ASEAN-UK SAGE programme, with a goal to develop pilot projects that have the potential to contribute towards the advancement of girls education in the region.

Addressing Barriers to Education for Girls and OOSCY

Through the ASEAN-UK SAGE programme, collaborative efforts are underway to address barriers to access to education for girls and out-of- school children and youth (OOSCY) in Southeast Asia.

To understand more about the extent and demographics of OOSCY in the region – with a focus on gender – the SEAMEO Secretariat and EdTech Hub are conducting a rapid scoping study involving SEAMEO Centres. Focusing on the demographics and factors contributing to OOSCY in the region, the aim of this study is to identify strengths and gaps in existing policies, and propose recommendations for improvement across Southeast Asia.

On 28 May 2024, the SEAMEO Secretariat and the British Council engaged the leadership of Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport of Cambodia; the Ministry of Education and Sports of Lao PDR; and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport of Timor Leste, through an online Exploratory Session that highlighted the opportunity for collaboration for the advancement of girls education in each country. The goal of this Exploratory Session was to develop a shared understanding of the local contexts and specific needs of the countries in relation to the opportunity for collaboration with the ASEAN-UK SAGE programme, with a goal to develop pilot projects that have the potential to contribute towards the advancement of girls education in the region.